The medium for one-step fermentation of raw inulin extract from Jerusalem artichoke tubers by Paenibacillus polymyxa ZJ-9 to produce R,R-2,3-butanediol (R,R-2,3-BD) was developed. Inulin, K(2)HPO(4) and NH(4)Cl were found to be the key factors in the fermentation according to the results obtained from the Plackett-Burman experimental design. The optimal concentration range of the three factors was examined by the steepest ascent path, and their optimal concentration was further investigated according to the Box-Behnken design and determined to be 77.14 g/L, 3.09 g/L and 0.93 g/L, respectively. Under the optimal conditions, the concentration of the obtained R,R-2,3-BD was 36.92 g/L, at more than 98% optical purity. Compared with other investigated carbon resources, fermentation of the raw inulin extract afforded the highest yield of R,R-2,3-BD. This process featured one-step fermentation of inulin without further hydrolyzing, which greatly decreased the raw material cost and thus facilitated its practical application.
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